BOISSEAU Jean (fl. 1631-1657). Description de la Novvelle France...Paris: chez Jean Boisseau, 1643.

$ 28,500.00

Single sheet (20 1/2 x 13 1/2) inches. Fine engraved map of the Great Lakes, the title within a mannerist strapwork cartouche lower left.
This rare and important map was the first printed map to illustrate and name all five Great Lakes. Boisseau improved upon the Champlain by incorporating the names that were only keyed before. Unlike Champlain's map, Boisseau's work delineates and identifies all five of the Great Lakes, even though the lakes' configurations and sizes remain incorrect. Indeed, in Champlain's earlier work, both Lake Erie and Michigan were left unnamed. In Sanson's 1650 map, Lake Michigan is represented by "Lac des Puans," and named to the northeast of "Grand Lac" (Lake Superior). Also of significance, Boisseau's 1643 map refers to present-day Ottawa River as "R des Algonmequins," a body of water which Boisseau indicates traveled upriver from "I de Montreal" to "Lac des Biserenis" (Lake Nipissing).
After the death of Francis I in 1547, France descended into a period of religious upheaval and weak government with Paris controlled by a revolutionary council until the Edict of Nantes in 1598.  The Court sat in exile in Tours and the countrys lack of stability resulted in little advancement in French cartography during the second half of the sixteenth century.
However, with the new century came the absolutist rule of Louis XIII and Louis XIV and the patronage of the Court, once again, began to thrive.  The progress made by German, English and of course Dutch cartographers was soon surpassed by the French and by the end of the seventeenth century France had become the center of cartographical production, creating the most beautiful and advanced maps of the period. Phillip D. Burden, The Mapping of North America: A List of Printed Maps 1511-1670 (Rickmansworth., 1996), 333.